Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Changing the World One Word at a Time: Breaking Walls Presents 5th Annual Signature 9-Day Initiative

breaking walls will premier its 5th annual signature writing, performance and peace-building initiative July 5 through 16, in Detroit, Michigan USA, where we proudly welcome Amy Thomas of the Matrix Theater Company to select 12 under-represented youth to join our group of international artists and ambassadors. In all, thirty-four young breaking walls artists from Barcelona, Berlin, Bethlehem, Palestine, Brooklyn, Cape Town and Detroit will express the strength and beauty of the human spirit, inviting the world to build on the platform they create with their voices, dreams, words and production skills.

Founder Fran Tarr created breaking walls in 2011, to initiate a global dialog between leaders of tomorrow by creating artistic, educational and community-building opportunities for disenfranchised youth to become those empathic, system-changing leaders. A not-for-profit, international creative writing and performance initiative, breaking walls empowers youth to discover their voices, and offers them a platform from which to speak in their own words.

During the nine days of creative writing, performance and connecting with new places and unfamiliar cultures, breaking walls artists and ambassadors explore areas deep within themselves, enabling them to "see" they are not alone in their hopes for the future, nor in their fears. Their mission is a timely call to action for the world.

In its five years, breaking walls has gained great respect within both the theater and social justice communities, and has been recognized for its peace efforts by the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace, Global Walk, the UNICEF "Voices of Youth" online platform, as well as the renowned EstroGenious Play Festival. breaking walls is partnering with the National Peace Academy on national and international youth empowerment projects.

breaking walls artist Neha, from Berlin, said, "breaking walls empowers me as an artist, a leader and most importantly as a young woman. I overcame my fears of sharing my innermost thoughts; the gasps, laughter, or applause of a live audience when a certain phrase strikes a chord is an unforgettable experience."

Jihad from Bethlehem, Palestine said, "I am a breaking walls artist because I want to become a true friend for myself. One of my favorite quotations comes from Gandhi: 'Be the change you wish to see in the world. Be the friend you want to have.' breaking walls shows me that you don't have to make yourself into what you think others will find attractive. No matter what your areas of interest, others share them somewhere. Simply make yourself a big target. Take action to make a change for the better. We need to reach out as one hand, one heart. breaking walls makes this dream a reality. It challenges many cultures to work as one."

Athenkosi from Cape Town, South Africa, added, "When we artists work together doing our creative writing and rehearsing for our performance, we see only one race, the human race."

For more information on breaking walls, please visit,

To make your reservations for the July 15th performance, contact Joseph Anderson @

Related Articles View More Detroit Stories

From This Author - Louisa Brady